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Marble Statue: Discophoros, Earliest – Athlete With Discus Torso
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Marble Statue: Discophoros, Earliest – Athlete With Discus Torso

Discophoros, Earliest – Athlete With Discus Torso

Discophoros, Earliest – Athlete With Discus Torso

license: Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International
source: Wikimedia Commons
author: Rowanwindwhistler

A photograph shows a marble sculpture of a nude torso. Both arms are missing below the shoulders and the legs are broken off at the thighs. The head has broken off near the base of the neck as well.


Artifact: c. 2nd century AD

Photo: May 2016


This is the oldest known reproduction of Discophoros, a series of Roman marble copies of a Greek bronze work thought to originate from the 4th century BC. Though this reproduction is missing the head and all four limbs, later copies include more of the limbs and a discus held in the left hand, allowing modern reproductions to be more detailed. The range of both ancient and modern copies of the statue, many of which take some liberty with its form, have led to quite a number of variations of the work. Other variations are linked below.

In more complete reproductions of the statue, the athlete holds in his left hand a Greek discus, which was used in the discus throw. This was one of the five sections of the pentathlon, an event featured in the ancient Olympic Games and other Panhellenic festivals.

Other Copies

Related Articles

Greek Discus | Greek Pentathlon | Ancient Olympic Games | Panhellenic Games


Scanlon, T. F. (2014). Sport in the Greek and Roman worlds. Vol 1. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Zarnowski, F. (2013). The pentathlon of the ancient world. McFarland.